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NCTE Position Statement

Resolution on Extending Recognition of Distinctive American Writers through Commemorative Stamps

1975 NCTE Annual Business Meeting in San Diego, California


In recent years the United States Postal Service has been issuing special commemorative stamps honoring notable Americans, among them an excellent series on American poets and writers. Such recognition of the contribution of American writers to our lives is welcome complementary support for teachers of American language and literature—particularly as these stamps, which achieve wide distribution and familiarity through all segments of our society, present fresh and timely images of our authors rather than perpetuating the stereotyped likenesses of the past. To date, with few exceptions, those commemorated have been the traditionally established American authors. The series has not as yet sufficiently reflected the more inclusive and diversified view of our national literature now being taught in our schools. Be it therefore


Resolved, that the National Council of Teachers of English formally express to the United States Postal Service its appreciation and endorsement of the current commemorative stamps of American writers;

     that to extend their value and reflect the current broad sense of our literary heritage, NCTE recommend that future stamps in the series include more minority authors and other authors whose work records minority experiences in our national life and background; and

     that NCTE offer to confer with the Citizens' Stamp Advisory Committee to broaden the selection of American writers deserving commemoration.

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